Inflow of shelf waters into the Mississippi Sound and Mobile Bay estuaries in October 2015

Mustafa Kemal Cambazoglu, Inia M. Soto, Stephan D. Howden, Brian Dzwonkowski, Patrick J. Fitzpatrick, Robert A. Arnone, Gregg A. Jacobs, Yee H. Lau
2017 Journal of Applied Remote Sensing  
The exchange of coastal waters between the Mississippi Sound (MSS), Mobile Bay, and Mississippi Bight is an important pathway for oil and pollutants into coastal ecosystems. This study investigated an event of strong and persistent inflow of shelf waters into MSS and Mobile Bay during October 2015 by combining in situ measurements, satellite ocean color data, and ocean model predictions. Navy Coastal Ocean Model predicted high-salinity shelf waters continuously flowing into the estuarine system
more » ... and forecasted low-salinity waters trapped inside the estuaries which did not flush out until the passage of tropical cyclone Patricia's remnants in late October. The October 2015 chlorophyll-a anomaly was significantly low inside and outside the MSS for the 2003 to 2015 time series. Similar low-chlorophyll-a anomalies were only seen in 2003. The October 2015 mean in situ salinities were up to 8 psu higher than mean from 2007 to 2015, and some estuarine stations showed persistent salinities above 30 psu for almost a month in agreement with model predictions. October 2015 was associated with low fall seasonal discharge, typical of fall season, and wind which was persistently out of the east to southeast [45-180]°. These persistent wind conditions were linked to the observed anomalous conditions. © The Authors. Published by SPIE under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Distribution or reproduction of this work in whole or in part requires full attribution of the original publication, including its DOI.
doi:10.1117/1.jrs.11.032410 fatcat:5me25fnif5cxdlkw65s7zzk3vq